Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Looking Back - Space Mission Ends In Tragedy

On this day in 1971, three Russian cosmonauts were found dead in their space capsule after it made what looked like a perfect landing in Kazakhstan. Lieutenant-Colonel George Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev were found dead in their seats on the Soyuz 11 but did not appear to have suffered any physical injuries.

The Soviet Government ordered an immediate inquiry into the tragedy. It was thought the most likely cause was oxygen failure on re-entry into the atmosphere or unknown side-effects of their lengthy stay in space. The crew had spent a record 24 days in space, the longest period anyone had remained weightless and experts thought this could have been linked to their death.

The cosmonauts had become the first men to stay at a space station when they docked with the Soviet Salyut 1. They were conducting scientific experiments and observations during their trip which started when they launched on 6 June.

Following an inquiry into the accident it was concluded the three cosmonauts on the Soyuz 11 were killed by a fatal rise in blood pressure caused when the cabin became depressurised.

The first man to die in space was Vladimir Komarov, in 1967, when the parachute on his Soyuz 1 developed trouble on landing.


When China was hit by an earthquake it caused a rather unusual problem. The earthquake was right in the area where giant pandas live. Most pandas are well protected, especially panda babies. Right after the earthquake , they rushed out and some stayed together. The following pictures tell the story of staff at the Wolong giant panda breeding ground rescuing the pandas after the tragedy. At least three pandas remain unaccounted for. Click images to enlarge.

Quiz Show Howlers

Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish speaking country in the world?
Contestant: Barcelona
Presenter: I was really after the name of a country.
Contestant: I'm sorry. I don't know the names of any countries in Spain.

Question: What is the worlds biggest continent?
Contestant: The Pacific.

Presenter: Name a film starring Bob Hoskins that is also the name of a famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci?
Contestant: Who framed roger Rabbit.

Steve Le Fevre: What was signed, to bring World War I to an end in 1918.
Contestant: Magna Carta?

Cat Nap

Brainteaser - Monday's Answer

In yesterday's brainteaser you were asked to work out the two words Fred and Nikita were thinking. Fred's word contained five consecutive consonants and Nikitas word contained five consecutive vowels.

Especially well done to anyone who
got either word correct!

Today's Smile

Did You Know?

Dreamt is the only English word

that ends with the letters 'mt'.

Our eyes are always the same

size from birth

But our nose

And ears

Never stop growing!